Point Me To Some Good Gospel Lessons/Threads

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by noveltea93, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. noveltea93


    Feb 5, 2018
    Looking to learn more in the Gospel style for bass. I'm sure there are tons of good videos and discussions out there. Besides from just saying "use the search feature," can anyone direct me towards some good places to start? I've a good grasp of general bass techniques, but don't know much about the style or how to apply those techniques to it. Thanks!
  2. T-Funk


    Jul 2, 2005
    In my opinion, there is not much good material available. I have been working towards establishing a Gospel bass lesson/tutorial website, but it been a slow going project over the past two years, as I prepare content (blog posts, videos, transcriptions, etc.) with other commitments in life.

    With that said, if available in your area, my first and foremost advice is to immerse yourself into the Gospel community via joining a church or community choir. You will learn far more via the said method than any online resource.

    From my experience, most churches who are Gospel music-focused do not seek musical talent via Craigslist or other online resources, as it is usually a tight-knit community where pastors and other church leaders know the local musicians in the area and/or seek recommendations from trusted individuals. Therefore, it would be beneficial to make a list of churches to visit who do not have a bassist and talk to the minister of music. As a person who has relocated several times over the past 10 years, due to work transfers and opportunities, the aforementioned process has always worked for me.

    Another possible option is to seek out a community choir, such as a local Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) chapter. I presently play, off and on, for two different GMWA chapters in my state and find it a more feasible situation, as it is not usually an ongoing weekly commitment. Furthermore, as one of their most important functions is to promote Gospel music via education and training, many local GMWA chapters will host workshops that will provide an opportunity to meet other Gospel musicians (including national recording artists and their musicians), receive hands-on instruction, clarification about certain techniques, etc. One tip, organists are a very good resource to learn the role of a bassist in Gospel music and are more likely to provide mentorship to a bassist, especially if the individual helps supports their music ministry efforts, than other bassists in the community.

    Lastly, but just as important, listen to Gospel music and learn songs by ear. Learning songs by ear will be necessary anyways if you play in a Gospel music environment, due to the fact that very few songs are codified via standard notion, tablature or video. In addition, most live Gospel music situations involve an aspect of uncertainty because a select portion of the songs played are commonly not planned or practiced in advance. Therefore, a good ear is necessary.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    MalcolmAmos, IamGroot and Jhengsman like this.
  3. All kinds of Gospel. Depends on what is played in your area. Go where it is played and listen while taking notes as to what the bass and the rest of the band are doing.

    It's not rocket science. You should be able to hold your own after a couple of visits.

    Good luck.
  4. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The Gospel music I'm familiar with and we worship with at my church is WAY different from how MalcomAmos worships. I believe he's coming from a Contemporary Christian thing, while I'm coming from things that have much more involved bass lines, heavier percussion, and lots of layers of keys/horns, vocals, etc. Micheal W. Smith compared to Fred Hammond.

    Another thing is that the same song can be played totally differently. When I've visited churches using the Hillsong stuff, I've heard songs that our church uses, but they arrangements and instrumentation are light years apart. So my advice is to talk to musicians playing those things and pick their brains for artists/songs suggestions.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  5. True we play Praise. However, a couple times a year we do sit in with the brothers at the local black church. Their music can run from Gospel Shout to improv jazz. So yes you do have to pick which Gospel you want to learn more about.

    There are some great musicians playing Gospel at the local black churches. The doors are open and you will be welcomed. A visit will be time well spent.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    JTE likes this.
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